Can the Tribes of Modern Israel Dwell Together?

By :  Arnold M. Eisen Chancellor Emeritus; Professor of Jewish Thought Posted On Nov 29, 2017 | Israel

The 2017 Gerson D. Cohen Memorial Lecture

  • Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum, founder and spiritual leader, Kehilat Zion of Jerusalem
  • Racheli Ibenboim, director of Telem, which works to integrate the ultra-Orthodox into general Israeli society
  • Professor Arnold M. Eisen, chancellor, JTS

On the 70th anniversary of the UN Partition Plan for Palestine, a major step in the creation of Israel, the partitions within Israeli society threaten the very future of the State. Can the divisions be bridged between Israel’s secular, national religious, ultra-Orthodox, and Arab citizens? Can they talk to each other and work together to forge a new partnership? And what is the role of caring Diaspora Jews in achieving this goal?

About the Speakers

Tamar Elad-Appelbaum is the founder and spiritual leader of Kehilat Zion of Jerusalem and co-founder of the seminary for Israeli rabbis of Hamidrasha and the Hartman Institute. Her work spans and links tradition and innovation, working toward Jewish spiritual and ethical renaissance. She devotes much of her energy to the renewal of community life in Israel and the struggle for human rights. In 2010 she was named by the Forward as one of the most influential female religious leaders in Israel for her work promoting pluralism and Jewish religious freedom.

Racheli Ibenboim is a social activist who focuses on the integration of the ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) community into general Israeli society and the status of ultra-Orthodox women. She is a director of Telem, an organization which develops strategy and projects for the integration of the ultra-Orthodox, and the head of the ultra-Orthodox department of the Shaharit Institute, whose goal is to create new social partnerships in Israel. She is also the founder and chair of the Movilot program which provides vocational leadership training for outstanding ultra-Orthodox women, and she mentors young activists from the ultra-Orthodox sector.  

Arnold M. Eisen, one of the world’s foremost authorities on American Judaism, is the seventh chancellor of The Jewish Theological Seminary. Since taking office in 2007, Chancellor Eisen has transformed the education of religious, pedagogical, professional, and lay leaders for North American Jewry, with a focus on graduating highly skilled, innovative leaders who bring Judaism alive in ways that speak authentically to Jews at a time of rapid and far-reaching change.

About the Cohen Lecture

The annual Gerson D. Cohen Memorial Lecture was established in 1993 by the Honorable Howard M. Holtzmann (z”l), who served as honorary chairman of the JTS Board of Trustees, as a tribute to Gerson D. Cohen (z”l), chancellor of JTS from 1972 to 1986.